Emergency first aid for fractures

Mishaps do not come with warnings. They strike so suddenly out of the blue that we are often rendered at our wit’s end! A fracture is a broken or cracked bone that can occur because of an accident, a fall, or by being struck. 

As bones are supplied with blood, they bleed when injured. This causes swelling and the blood seeping into the surrounding tissues also augment the pain and thus dark red or purple bruises are formed in the area of the fracture site. It is imperative that medical attention is sought for fracture immediately. But before the arrival of medical aid, here’s how one can help a victim:

  • Don’t try to move the injured person. Check if there is any severe bleeding and tend to it immediately. Look for any signs of shock, palpitation, restlessness, sweaty and cold skin, confusion, nervousness, nausea, paleness, and vomiting.
  • It is more important to stop the bleeding than tending to the fracture. Ideally, a sterile and absorbent bandage should be used to cover and secure the wound firmly, but in case of emergency, a clean towel or piece of clothing will do.
  • Immobilise the fractured bone to reduce the pain and safeguard the broken bone from any further injury caused by accidental movement.
  • Apply ice-pack to the injury. Wrap ice in a piece of cloth before applying. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Make sure that the broken bone is elevated by keeping an object like a pillow under the fractured limb in order to alleviate swelling and reduce bleeding.
  • If the wait for emergency medical personnel is longer than an hour, administer some medication to alleviate the pain. Paracetamol is recommended for broken bones and other internal injuries.

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Emergency first aid for fractures


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